Cover image for Brother & sister
Title:
Brother & sister
ISBN:
9780451494504
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
157 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 22 cm.
Contents:
The proof is in the picture -- A token of absence -- King of the back flip -- A hawk's talons -- Till death do us part -- Printers pull off a good one -- Birdman -- A last kiss -- Three sisters -- Slipping away -- Surrendering to the rush of wings -- Hillary -- Foster's freeze -- Kicked out -- Let it go -- Homeward bound.
Summary:
A memoir by the award-winning actress about her younger brother, Randy, and the ways in which siblings' lives can diverge and then come back together. --
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Copies
Status
Searching...
Book 921 KEATON 0 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book 921 KEATON 0 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book 921 KEATON 0 1
Searching...

On Order

Library
Copy
Location
Parts
Stillwater Public Library1On Order

Summary

Summary

From the beloved film star and best-selling author of Then Again--a heartfelt memoir about Diane Keaton's relationship with her younger brother, and a poignant exploration of the divergent paths siblings' lives can take.

When they were children in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the 1950s, Diane Keaton and her younger brother, Randy, were best friends and companions- they shared stories at night in their bunk beds; they swam, laughed, dressed up for Halloween. Their mother captured their American-dream childhoods in her diaries, and on camera. But as they grew up, Randy became troubled, then reclusive. By the time he reached adulthood, he was divorced, an alcoholic, a man who couldn't hold on to full-time work--his life a world away from his sister's, and from the rest of their family.

Now Diane is delving into the nuances of their shared, and separate, pasts to confront the difficult question of why and how Randy ended up living his life on "the other side of normal." In beautiful and fearless prose that's intertwined with photographs, journal entries, letters, and poetry--many of them Randy's own writing and art--this insightful memoir contemplates the inner workings of a family, the ties that hold it together, and the special bond between siblings even when they are pulled far apart. Here is a story about love and responsibility- about how, when we choose to reach out to the people we feel closest to--in moments of difficulty and loss--surprising things can happen. A story with universal echoes, Brother & Sister speaks across generations to families whose lives have been touched by the fragility and "otherness" of loved ones--and to brothers and sisters everywhere.


Author Notes

Diane Keaton (born Diane Hall; January 5, 1946) is an American film actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. Keaton began her career on stage, and made her screen debut in 1970. Her first major film role was as Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather (1972), but the films that shaped her early career were those with director and co-star Woody Allen beginning with Play It Again, Sam in 1972. Her next two films with Allen, Sleeper (1973) and Love and Death (1975), established her as a comic actor. Her fourth, Annie Hall (1977), won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Keaton's memoir, entitled Then Again was published by Random House on November 15, 2011. Her next non-fiction book, Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty, made the New york times bestseller list in 2014. She continues to star in and direct many popular movies.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Actor Keaton (Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty) focuses on her complex relationship with her mentally ill younger brother in this resonant and melancholy family memoir. Keaton admits that she saw her brother, Randy, as a burden when they were kids growing up in Southern California: "He was a nuisance, a scaredy-cat, and a crybaby." As she got older, "he became an absent presence. I avoided him as my life got busier while his got smaller and more difficult." Throughout, Keaton shares details of her career (filmmakers Woody Allen and Nancy Meyers, among others, get mentions), but the focus is on Randy, an alcoholic plagued by sadomasochistic fantasies about women, and whose escalating instability--vividly described here (in a letter to Keaton, Randy writes, "When I thought about sex it was always with a knife")--affected Keaton, her parents, and her two sisters. The author, who became "the family documentarian" after her mother's death in 2008, utilizes family letters and journals to enhance the narrative, which follows Randy as he unravels and turns into a "Boo Radley character." Keaton talks about the complexities of loving a brother she never quite knew; of watching him become consumed by alcohol, then falling into the grip of dementia "in the process of dying"; and of wishing she had done more to help him ("I want to have another chance at being a better sister"). This slim but weighty book stands as a haunting meditation on mortality, sibling love, mental illness, and regret. (Feb.)


Kirkus Review

In this melancholic addition to Keaton's two previous works of memoir (Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty, 2014, etc.), she strives to understand her troubled younger brother.Two poignant passages bookend the author's brief account of her relationship with her brother, Randy Hall. In the first, she recalls the pair at 5 and 3, sharing a bedroom in their Southern California home, Keaton "glancing down from my top-bunk apartment in the sky and seeing Randy's anxious bobbing head, his fear of the dark, and his sweet if hapless face.Why couldn't he stop seeing ghosts lurking in shadows that weren't there?" The second depicts the siblings, now in their 70s, sitting quietly as Keaton holds her ailing brother's hand and strokes his hair during a visit to his nursing home. In between these moments of intimacy, Keaton admits to long periods of estrangement from her sensitive, self-destructive, alcoholic brother, who "took failure and wore it the way Hester Pryne wore her scarlet letter," spending an isolated life writing, collaging, drinking, and existing by grace of the supportfinancial and otherwiseof his parents and sisters. While never completely free of worry or involvement, the author discloses that "while I was playing the firebrand Louise Bryant [in the film Reds], he'd attempted to gas himself in the garage.I told myself I didn't have time to linger on my family's problems, and certainly not Randy's." Keaton thoughtfully wrestles with her guilty conscience while attempting to assemble a clearer picture of her brother's nature. To do so, she relies heavily on excerpts from his poems, prose, and letters and those of family members. Yet Halldescribed variously as "a schizoid personality" by a doctor, an "Almost Artist" by Keaton, and a "genius" by his idealizing motherremains inscrutable and difficult to sympathize with.Keaton sheds her whimsical persona to explore difficult burdens that those with an unstable sibling will recognize. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

In her best-selling memoir, Then Again (2011), Keaton portrayed her mother. What is palpable in this searing memoir of her relationship with Randy, her alcoholic, mentally skewed brother, is the sense of missed opportunity. For a brief period during their seemingly idyllic childhood in 1950s Southern California, they were a team, safe in a cocooned shared bedroom, basking in an insulated duet. But the good times didn't last. More children came, and their father achieved financial and professional success and moved the family deeper into suburbia and a lifestyle that clashed with Randy's heightened sensibilities. Keaton's acting career soared, removing her geographically but also emotionally from Randy's increased isolation, anger, frustration, and rage: emotions he assuaged through poetry, art, and alcohol. The keeper of her family's ephemera, including journals, photographs, poems, and collages, here Keaton assembles the mosaic of a supremely troubled life. In doing so, she addresses the remorse that comes from viewing broken relationships from a distance, knowing that there is no glue with which to repair them. A disarmingly honest and vulnerable account of an all-too-common family dynamic.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Keaton is a star on screen and the page, and interest will be avid for this candid look-back.--Carol Haggas Copyright 2020 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Actress Keaton (Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty) reflects on her relationship with her younger brother, Randy Hall. Early on, Hall exhibited heightened fears and anxieties that were intensified by a father with exacting standards and a mother who found it difficult to acknowledge the scope of her son's complexities. Hall wrote poetry, made collages, but increasingly withdrew--eventually walking out of a job at their father's company, divorcing his wife, descending into alcoholism, and angrily shutting out the world. In an effort to seek understanding of his struggles, Keaton eloquently and unflinchingly examines her brother's life, drawing from excerpts of his poetry and her mother's journals and letters in an attempt to find answers to her questions. The result is a cohesive, honest look at an entire family impacted by a troubled individual, as well as how Keaton maintained a bond with her sibling despite tremendous challenges. VERDICT Immersive and haunting, this is a must for Keaton's fans and for those seeking to comprehend the nuances of sibling and family relationships.--Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ